How I NaNo ~ Outside the Margins with Hank Edwards

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Hank Edwards goes Outside the Margins today.

Hank Edwards OtM

There have been a lot of posts about National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, or just NaNo. Or just, you know, Hell. I kid… sort of. As a writer, the daily goal of 1,667 words seems formidable, almost insurmountable. Over the last few years, however, I’ve found a good balance between word count and weekly goals with my Story Orgy posts.

What’s Story Orgy? I’m part of a group of writers who got together to write stories all based off the same weekly prompt. We post those weekly posts to our blogs and link to each other. The stories we come up with are all wildly different because we all have our own writing styles, and it’s fun to read ongoing chapters from my writing partners and find the weekly prompt.

But I digress. I was writing about NaNo. See how easy it is for me to get off track? No matter how many hours you have to write, a daily word count goal is tough. I know a lot of people can do it with no problems, even people who have a day job like I do, and kids to manage, like I don’t. (Do demanding cats count? No? I didn’t think so, but thought I’d ask.) I think I’m too easily swayed by my Snuggie at the end of the day and my DVR or “just one more level” of Candy Crush. Either way, I won’t make anywhere near 50,000 words on my project (the third book of my Young Adult fantasy series, the first book of which, “The Midnight Gardener,” released this month from Harmony Ink Press under my author name R. G. Thomas), but I’ve got a good start and a mental road map of where I’m headed.

These days I’ve been eating at my desk at my day job, getting some emails replied to and answering questions, that sort of thing. Once I’m done eating, I take my personal laptop and go hide on a different floor in a long back corridor lined with windows. I sit at a table and lose myself in Thaddeus’s story. During my one hour of escape, I can manage about 1,100 words on a really good day. It’s not NaNo level good, but it’s been driving the story. I’ve learned to shut down my internal editor during that hour and just write. When I get home in the evening, I let my brain decide what’s on the agenda: more writing, some TV (story telling has been excellent with shows like “The Flash,” and those Winchester boys, which may require a Beyond the Margins post in and of itself soon), or some time with my now-we’re-legally-married spouse.

This year I haven’t signed up on the NaNo website, nor am I posting my word counts on social media. I’m liking those posts from friends, glad to see they’re making progress on stories I look forward to reading. For my book, let’s suffice to say I’m getting there, I’m just not getting there quite as fast as some writers. All in all, though, this month is chock full of the snap and crackle of creation, and I like to think we’re all riding that creative wave to a whole new batch of books in 2016.

Until next time, keep your caffeine levels high and your characters engulfed in drama. NaNo namaste.

~Hank Edwards


Title: The Midnight Gardener
Author: R. G. Thomas
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: 11/12/2015
Cover Artist:
Genre: Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Romance, Young Adult


At fifteen, Thaddeus Cane has moved thirty-two times with his father. Each time he’s displaced without explanation, Thaddeus loses any friends he’s made. The name of their latest town is Superstition, but it seems normal enough, with one exception.

Thaddeus’s bedroom window gives him a view into the beautiful gardens next door. Every night after dark, an attractive guy around Thaddeus’s age appears to tend the plants. When Thaddeus visits his neighbor, he discovers not only how deep his interest in the other man runs, but also that Teofil, the midnight gardener, isn’t human. He’s a garden gnome, a revelation that will lead to more secrets coming to light and an adventure unlike anything Thaddeus ever imagined.

Harmony Ink Press
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About Hank Edwards

Hank Edwards is a curious mix of practical realist and feral dreamer, with over a dozen books published. His body of work covers a host of genres from gay romance to humor, paranormal to suspense, and mystery to time travel romance.

He is also a member of the Story Orgy group (, a clan of writers who post free gay romance reads to their blogs every Monday morning and self-publish steamy stories based on writing prompts. Find his posts

Like his Facebook pages ( or, favorite his Amazon page (, and follow him on Twitter (@hanksbooks) to become a true “Hankie.” You may also visit his website at or send along an email to

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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